Analysis was performed on a 31-artifact sample of Late Terminal Formative obsidian excavated in 2003 from the archaeological site of Yugüe in the Lower Verde Valley of Oaxaca. This analysis was performed to determine the geochemical sources of the individual obsidian artifacts and replicate a prior study of Yugüe obsidian performed by David T. Williams for his thesis at the University of Colorado. This earlier analysis determined that five obsidian sources were present. Sourcing was accomplished using a handheld X-Ray fluorescence instrument and bivariate plotting of relevant trace elements. Five sources of obsidian were found during analysis: Pachuca, Otumba, Paredon, Guadalupe Victoria, and Zaragoza. Williams identified additional sources that were not identified in this study, but he also may have sampled artifacts from the site from other excavations. This previous analysis by Williams also did not attribute sources to individual artifacts, making it impossible for archaeological conclusions to be drawn about the life histories of particular artifacts. By attributing sources to individual artifacts during analysis, this project provides valuable context about both the site of Yugüe during the Terminal Formative period and the lower Rio Verde Valley.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Clark, Jessica L., "HXRF Analysis of Yugüe Obsidian" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1000.